Professional Cleaners Are Sharing Their Best On-The-Job Tips And Tricks, And I Wish I Knew About Some Of These Sooner

·6 min read

If you're someone who hates cleaning with every fiber of your being and would rather do anything else but — I get you! However, there is something to say about knowing a few cleaning hacks to help make the task a little bit easier.

Someone vacuuming carpet
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Redditor u/gossipchicken asked "Janitors [and housekeepers] of Reddit, What are some neat cleaning tricks we can use?" and let's just say, I took notes on a lot of the helpful responses. Here are some of them.

1."When you clean baseboards, cabinets, or window sills, start in the corner and work toward the middle. This makes it easier to remove buildup in the corners."

Someone wiping down cabinet handles.

"Spray your glass cleaner onto your cloth and wipe in big circles for even coverage and fewer streaky parts."

"If your toilet smells, try a urine remover all over the outside of the bowl, beneath the seat, and around the floor."

—u/jupiterssunday

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2."Common rubbing alcohol is great at breaking down oily, greasy, or resinous materials that soap struggles to remove."

—u/ApocalypseSpokesman

3."Peroxide gets fresh blood out of clothes and linens if applied ASAP."

—u/aaronkellysbones

4."Use an old pillowcase to dust ceiling fan blades, it contains the dust so you don't get the dreaded allergy ash cloud."

A man removes a pillow from the pillowcase.
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5."Tri-sodium-phosphate is my go-to for anything oil and fat-based. It just melts through grease. You can pick it up it in the painting prep supplies area at a hardware store. You only need a tiny bit for a stain. Mix a few tablespoons into your bucket for cleaning around the kitchen. Mix 10:1 with water to clean really, really greasy messes — like between the stove and the cupboards or to strip waxed floors. Keep the stripping ability in mind if you're cleaning anything wood, you can take off the finish if it's a strong mix or sits too long."

"Only reason it's not in all cleaning products like it used to be was because overuse was causing problems with algae growth in waterways (phosphates). It's not a problem to use a bit here and there, it's more a problem if every single load of laundry done by everyone has phosphates."

—u/Wtrset

6."Former cleaning tech here. Get a Scrub Daddy and some Bar Keeper’s Friend. Literally, the best stuff I’ve ever used to get any sort of gunk or residue off of any surface."

—u/alteredsauce

7."Make sure the mops and brooms are long enough so you don’t have to bend. That increases your efficiency and you don’t get tired easily."

—u/femoric9

8."Vacuum your way out of a room to not leave footprints. Incredibly satisfying work."

A woman vacuums her carpet.
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9."Clean windows make your house look cleaner and brighter even when it’s messy."

—u/ReleaseThat2638

10."Dilute your cleaner. The more chemicals, the more residue, which leaves it streaky with visible wipe marks. If you want a nice streak-free shine, wipe with a wet (only water) side of the rag and flip it over to the dry side to wipe it dry. This is also true when it comes to floors. There are many floors I clean that I ONLY use water for because the floors were designed by someone who doesn't have to clean and only designed for how pretty the floors look and if you use any chemical on them at all, they look streaky and terrible. If your floors at home or work look really streaky, start mopping with only hot water, it can take a lot of mopping to get all the chemicals off the floor but once you get it up it will look much nicer mopped with only water. For some floors, I have a dry clean mop on hand to use after I wet mop to really get that streak-free shine."

"Even glass cleaners can leave streaks and visible wipe marks on the glass or make them appear 'foggy.' I only clean mirrors and glass with water, I spray water and wipe with a dry microfiber cloth. I have cleaned lots of glass and mirrors this way and cannot even tell you the last time I used glass cleaner at home or work. The only time I have ever needed glass cleaner was if something was really greasy.

Microwaves are super fast and easy to clean. Whatever all-purpose cleaner you use, just spray down the inside of the microwave well with it, run for about 15 seconds, and most of the mess should wipe right off.

Soft Scrub was made by the gods. With Soft Scrub and a pumice stone, you can make any toilet look brand new. It also cleans showers with buildup on the floor and with little effort as well. That shit used to take me forever to scrub out. Definitely biased here, there might be other cleaners that work just as well, but once I started using Soft Scrub, I didn't go back."

—u/beetle_the_owl

11."Don't scrub right away when you're mopping a floor. First, get the whole floor wet (kind of like soaking a dish with dried on food), then go back to the beginning. Anything that was stuck to the floor will be easier to clean with less work."

—u/audiomechanic

12."Pouring hot coffee and letting it sit for a while paired with a good follow-up scrub for some reason is good at removing grease stains. I was shown this and never looked further into why it works but it does."

A woman pours a cup of coffee.
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13."Toilet brushes rarely reach all of the visible stains in the toilet bowl but the smaller size and shorter bristles on a toothbrush work wonders."

—u/ThisIsNotWorkingOut

14."Baking soda is amazing for getting burned food off the bottom of your pan. Just fill-up the first couple inches with water, add in a bunch of baking soda, stir it up, boil the water for five minutes, then scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Do this a couple of times and you should be good to finish in the sink."

A jar of baking soda
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15."WD-40 is a fantastic alternative to clean stainless steel. Typical stainless cleaners leave a coating that can easily smudge, WD-40 (essentially oil that evaporates) spreads evenly and then removes itself, so smudges are less noticeable and dust won't cling to the surface. You just need to tolerate the smell when applying."

—u/Orzine

16."Wash your cleaning cloths. Like, actually put them in the washing machine with your laundry. It's much easier to clean with a clean cloth."

A laundry basket sits next to a washing machine

"Another tip is that cleaning liquid should go onto the cloth, not straight to the surface cleaned. This leaves less residue on surfaces."

—u/MryyLeathert

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17."If you use dryer sheets, save them and use them like magic eraser. It is unbelievable that it cleans so well with just a few drops of water."

—u/banjolady

18."I'm a housekeeper and diluted rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle works great for cleaning and polishing granite countertops without leaving residue or damage."

Someone wiping down a countertop.
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Do you have any cleaning tips you could add to the list? Share them in the comments below!